KATHMANDU, May 19: Referring to the location of the country and potential market access, Computer Association of Nepal (CAN) has proposed an association of IT industry in Asia and Oceania region to help Nepal develop as a center for hardware and software development in the region.
CAN President Suresh K Karna pushed the idea to develope Nepal as a digital hub while addressing international delegates from 12 coutries gathered in the capital for the mid-year meeting 2012 of Asian Oceania Computing Industry Organization (ASOCIO). The three-day meeting kicked off on Friday.
CAN pushed the idea based on its study that said Nepal had special advantage over other regional members on the production and marketing of hardware and software. "The HR cost in Nepal is 35 percent lesser than India, considered as one the most popular destinations for outsourcing,"
Apart from seeking support from the IT entrepreneurs in the region, CAN officials also urged special support from the government to realize its vision. In this connection, it mainly asked the government to immediately prioritize the ICT sector and create an environment whereby they could get 24-hour power supply and high speed internet services, prerequisites for the development of the sector.
"We have explored the potential and have found Nepal could be developed as a digital hub because of its cheap human resource, increasing number of IT professionals and geographical location. Hence, the government should look at this possibility seriously" said he.
Karna was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the conference. Senior government officials and policy makers along with entrepreneurs and traders also attended the program.
Secretary at Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) Keshab Bhattarai welcomed the CAN´s proposal. While committing all support from government, he also invited overseas particiapnts to enter into business by forming joint venture firms in Nepal. "IT sector in Nepal is already recognized as one of the high potential industry. Those who invest in it will reap handsome returns," he stated.
ASOCIO President Looi Kien Leong stressed on the need to evolve Asian nations as ICT exporting countries.“The region is already producing the largest chunk of ICT products. But we stand as mere consumers, rather than producers. We need to change this and focus on creating a regional framework for the development and trade of ICT”" said Kien.
Through the three-day long conference, ICT entrepreneurs representing 26 companies from countries like Japan, South Korea, China, Chinese Taipei and India will explore their business opportunities in ICT. The event is targeted at increasing regional cooperation amongst ASOCIO members for which CAN has organized business match-making session.
ASCOCIO was established in 1984 and has 29 member countries, including Nepal, representing more than 10,000 ICT companies and annual revenue of $ 350 billion.